Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 31: It's a Leo Thing

Day 31. Yay. I've done it!

Today's minor topic. It's a Leo thing.

I don't talk much about my ever changing work places, or go into specifics.

However, at the moment, I find myself in a pod with three other Leos. People born between 23 July and 22 August.

We find ourselves often saying to our poor Gemini manager,"Don't worry, it's a Leo thing, " at least three times on any given day. She nods, rolls her eyes and we all get on with it.

I know that there are a lot of you out there with no faith or belief in astrology, but the amount of times the four of us all nod at each other, shrug our shoulders and say,"Yeah, Leo thing." is getting a bit silly.

One of the team I've worked with before. We used to say it a lot at that work place too.

So here's our "Leo Things." that we've identified as being attributes of what is arguably the bestest star sign to have.

1. It's all about the hair.

Leos need a mane. This is not great when you're succumbing to male pattern baldness when you're going to care for every last hair on your head until the last one falls out, but for the rest of us, Leos need a mane. I for one look rubbish with short hair and I like my long, well kept shaggy locks that got put back to their familiar match box red today. My male Leo colleagues are just as bad in their own ways. We need a mane to toss around. It's what we do. Laugh at us if you must. It makes us happy and that's all that matters.

A Leo needs hair like footy pie needs sauce.

2. If we like you, we love you. If we don't, well meh.

Leos are just pussycats in people's bodies. Like cats, if we like you, we'll let you know about it. If we don't. just don't bother. Leo's go by gut instinct. It takes us quite a lot to change our minds. Don't say we didn't warn you.

3. Leo's are fiercely protective and loyal to those they like

Poor manager is finding this out at the moment. The team look after her, bring her coffee, ask after her family, see if she's doing okay. We all do it. She said she's never had a team like it. We just tell her to lap it up because it's a Leo thing.

4. Look at me, Don't look at me

Leo's are the show ponies of the zodiac, but don't tell anybody. We love attention, just don't make us ask for it. We'll lap up praise when praise is due. Just don't ignore us or you'll be sorry. Manager has found this one out too.

5. Pride vs Vanity

Leo's can be vain, but it's more about pride for us, whether that be pride in our work or pride in ourselves or both. A team of Leos just get this. Others do not. We really don't need our egos stroked, we know we're great.

6. Best leave a sick Leo to their own devices.

Like most sick animals, Leos are better left to get on with it on their own. No sympathy or coddling. Just bring us tea or soup, make sure we're okay and we'll come out of our caves when we're ready. Got it? We don't want you to see us when we're not our best. It's really not pretty.

7. We're at our best first thing in the morning

Like the cat who knocks all of the stuff off your bedside table at 5 am wanting breakfast, Leos are good in the morning. We do our best work before midday. It's strange working in a team like this - all of us want to curl up for a nap after lunch.

There are many more little "Leo things" that we're discovering.

Heaven help anybody who comes in wanting to criticise us after lunch. If it's in the morning, we'll fight you over it. If not, then meh - we're busy having a nap

The daft thing is that being on the cusp, with five planets in Virgo, I normally come across as a bit too grounded to be a good Leo. This group are proving this wrong.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 30: From the iPhone

I've been out revolting in the streets, so I'm too tired to blog properly, so I'm taking a few liberties and going to pull a couple of photos of my phone from the last week.

Here goes:

From the 32nd floor. The view from mt hotel room in Sydney. Watched the fireworks in Darling Harbour as a part of the Vivid Festival. Sat and watched the view for hours. A lovely chilled evening after a great day with friends.

My idea of heaven. Hu Tong Dumpling Bar  - xiao long bao and chilli wontons. I could eat these every day and be a very, very happy woman, the chilli wontons are to die for. Pre-theatre nosh with Emm.

Wedding photos, Angel Place, Sydney. Stumbled on this on the way back from said late lunch with friends.

Police presence at the Medicare Rally tonight. Jay, her friend Barb and I went along. Jay's a General Pracititioner in her early 50s. Barb is in her mid-seventies. The Police were just in front of us. We told them that we were pleased they were keeping us safe. They said that's what they were there for, to keep us safe from the rabble.

We then told them that we were part of the rabble.

What was disconcerting was that there were many of the officers with hand held video cameras scanning the crowd.

About 5000 people there. Very peaceful. I have a feeling I'll be revolting again in the near future.

More Angel Place. It's one of my favourite places in Sydney.

A retro shot of the big coat hanger and Circular Quay, Sydney. Though not overly fond of the place, it is photogenic.

I love my team. I love that my team does coffee every few days. We go to this great coffee shop, The League of Honest Coffee on Little Lonsdale Street where they serve the best coffee - in buckets.

Off to bed for me know. I'm whacked.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 29: Tonight's List

It is 20 past eight. I've already walked home from work and been to the gym. I've had an okay day at work, had my dinner and now it's time for jobs.

Before I go to bed tonight I want to:
  • Do a load of washing     X
  • Hang out said washing   X
  • Do the dishes    X
  • Dry and put away said dishes
  • Remake my bed so that I have a few days on clean sheets before Mrs Squeaky Puss turns up on Sunday (she sleeps in the bed with me)   X
  • Finish the ironing  X
  • Get the minutes and summons out for masons    x - nearly done
  • Start looking at my coursework for re certification of my Certificate IV in workplace training and assessment. 
  • Get things ready for tomorrow    X
  • Have a dig at the nearly dead wart on my toe    X
  • Consider cutting my toenails
  • Have a shower   X
  • Floss teeth   X
  • Bag up Jawbone Up ready for sending back to the manufacturer for replacement   X
  • Write Flora a birthday card
  • Write Glen Waverley a birthday card
  • Look at writing out a training schedule for pending run at the end of July
  • Metamucil  X
  • Moisturise   X
  • Read a bit of my book
  • Have a look at the movies that are one over the weekend
  • Cup of tea (hibiscus or rose)   X
  • Brush hair   X
I think that's enough. I'll pop in just before I go to bed and put X's next to the ones I get done.

It's now 9.10pm. I'm hanging out the washing.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 28: Something for others

I’m not sure what made me do it, but I've signed myself up for a five kilometre run at the end of July.

I've bemoaned the fact that I’m not running any more. I’m over weight, and  well over my running weight. I've had the flu. I just miss being really fit. So this is the next exercise challenge. To run five kilometres by the end of July which is really a doable challenge if I train smart. I know what to do. My legs know what to do. My lungs will have to be reminded what to do and all should be fine. I’m not putting a time limit on this, just turn up, do the run and go home.

I’m also going to raise a bit of money for charity on this mission. I had to think long and hard about this. I have friends and family with MS. Thankfully they are all doing really well. I have a friend with this dreadful thing called Myelofibrosis, but he’s okay at the moment. I've given a lot to breast cancer over the years. We have ovarian cancer in the family. All brilliant charities to run for.

However this time, the choice came to me within minutes. I've set up a website to collect money for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a charity that provides advocacy, aid and advice to recent Asylum Seekers who make it in to our country.

I am deeply shamed at the way Asylum Seekers are treated by our government, particularly those who are harboured in concentration camps in Nauru and Manus Island. Like all people, I don’t want people drowning at sea making the perilous voyage across the sea to Christmas Island funding unscrupulous people smugglers– however, we do have a responsibility to treat all Asylum Seekers with respect and dignity and ensure that they processing is thorough as well as compassionate. That we are locking up minors is even more shameful. That these people have no recourse to counselling, education, medical or legal assistance, even worse. That a man has died in our care. That many other are suffering in squalid conditions is appauling.
 It’s contravening so many basic human rights and international laws.

Anyway, off my soap box. If you’d  like to sponsor me, please click on this link. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre does brilliant work and they make the most out of any donations they receive.

Looks like I’ll be hitting the treadmill from now on.

And once again, if you have a few dollars to spare and would like to sponsor me, follow the link below:



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 27: To me (aged 25)

I've occasionally set myself the task of writing to my younger self.

Today's blog is addressed to my 25-year-old self. A bit of a pivotal year. I'm not sure how she'd take a letter from her future self. But here goes.

Dear Darling Girl,

I know that this is something that you've never been called, but at this time, twenty years on, I’m going to be very kind to you. You've not been afforded many kindnesses in your life until now and as you’re about to make a decision, the ramifications of which will reverberate through your life for the next ten or so years, kindness will help you on your way.

You don’t know this yet, you’re just following your instinct at the moment. I commend you for this. You’re still one of the bravest people I will ever know, though for some, the decision you’re about to make verges on lunacy. The decision to stay in the UK will form you. It’s okay, it will work out alright although it will feel like you have to look over your shoulder for a very long time after, not getting close to people, not feeling like you belong anywhere. You will gain some things, lose others. Most of all, you'll work out how resilient you are.These are large and hard lessons you'll be learning.

What do you want to know about life twenty years on?

On the good side of things you’re employed, employable and solvent. You have great friends. Your life is interesting and varied though you will be seeking more down time as the years go on. You’re fit and healthy for the most part. You’re not lonely. Your car is cool, well, you think it is anyway.

There aren't really bad things in your life, something that you have to remember and remind your self of often as you travel through the next twenty years. You’re going to start a long and solitary journey of self-discovery. It’s a different road to many, but it doesn't make it any less worthwhile. 

You will remember this as you travel the world, see amazing things and befriend incredible people. Your love of beauty will see you working on a Greek Island, traipsing around the grand cities of Spain, strolling down Fifth Avenue, taking in the great galleries of the world. One day you will unexpectedly find that Picasso makes sense and that you will love the hotchpotch of Bangkok as much as your adore walking through the woods of England. You are incredibly blessed in this way. Not many have the freedom to do what you do.

You will find yourself telling people you knew from your past that you have never married and have no children from time to time. Don’t try and listen for the visage of sympathy, you’re fine just the way you are. There is plenty of love in your life when you look at it, more than many people have in apparently happy marriages or in large families.

There will be two people who cross your path, both who are as messed up as you in many ways. You will learn a lot from them, mostly about being kind to yourself and the necessity to walk away. There is somebody else who you know deep down, that  you are tightly bound, yet destined to not be together. Think about the movie Ladyhawke – Georgio Moroder sound track and all. The eclipse may come, but get on with your life in the mean time. The pull to him is stronger than the tides. Breathe through it is the only advice I can give there. You'll meet him soon. He will be just as befuddled by the whole experience.

You’ll end up doing some incredible things. You won’t believe me when I tell you that you’re not a bad runner and that your love of physical exercise will become near obsessive at times. If I could tell you one things, get exercising early. It will become your time to think, relax and recharge. Foster your love of writing. It will see you very well. Remember to laugh a lot too. You forget about this sometimes.

Another thing, keep your alcohol to a minimum. It does you no favours in many ways – especially red wine. Stick to beer and gin in limited amounts. The less sugar you eat, the happier you will be too. Keep this in mind when you discover the multitude of ice cream places in Melbourne. Oh, and that advice your Uncle John gave you about saving 10% of your salary each week – do something about making it happen. Even if you are in your forties when you finally do something about this advice.

There's not much else that I want to tell you at this time. Just know that your decision to stay in England will form you. It will make you brave, crafty and a little suspicious, but other parts of the journey will feed your soul. The drama group will get you out of your shell. Learning massage and the healing arts will help you be compassionate. Friends will come and go, but some are still there in contact over means you will only know about in years to come.

Keep strong, Darling Girl. Check and double check things over the next few months.

Oh, and if you can, get some antibiotics before you hit Dublin. You nearly ended up with pneumonia there and the chest X-Ray at the Mater Hospital is not something you want to repeat.

Also, remember, you are loved. You have a handy way of rejecting people. Let it in. It makes life a hell of a lot more special when you do.

With love,

Your 45-year-old self xx

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 26: Latte or Pinot?

They said that they didn’t want to start a class war.

Bullshit. It's on already.

I’m watching as a class war starts over social media, at work, at the gym, at alienating friends, breaking down long to relationships and bringing a  feeling of dis-ease to many?


All over the current state of play in Australian Politics.

The divisions are starting to show. Where until recently, people of different political bents lived next to each other  \with relative ease, the cracks are beginning to appear. It’s starting to feel a bit like a Shakespearean tragedy with all the biffs and subterfuge. Stock characters that are starting to wage wars against each other.

So we have our dramatis personae of the Australian political landscape – and please note these are caricatures in all of this – not real people, but a melding of characters and features. They’re certainly not a one–size fits all.

I'm going to refer to our characters as local drinks:

Caffe Latte – The left wing, pseudo-socialist, newish Mazda in the street near her rented flat. Professional worker, Cafe Latte will write letters to their MP on a regular basis. Sometimes seen at demonstrations.

Spirulina – Militant left wing Greenie, rides a bike, thinking about going vegan, works at an NGO and does some charity work at the local homeless shelter.

Pinot – A moderate right winger, semi-affluent Honda sports wagon driver, struggling to put the kids through one of the middle rung private schools. Works as an accountant and their partner is in IT. 

Kristal – The Neo-Conservative douchbag, far right wing ideologue, in the upscale Mercedes Sedan, living in a mansion, children at elite schools (though they've quietly changed after a minor drug misdemeanor)

XXXX beer – Ex military mine worker in the Far North in a beat up landcruiser who doesn't have a clue what they might do if the mines close. Owns a "Go back where you came from" t-shirt.

PreMix Jack and Cola – Factory worker in the outer suburbs drives a barely street legal Magna who's hoping to win lotto so that they can fix the air conditioning. Partner, a nurse, is struggling to find contracts as foreign workers are coming in on 457 visas undercutting the rates.

Fruity Lexia -  University students, borrows Mum’s car, wanting to get ahead studies and works two jobs to help pay off the fee debt before they die.

Tap Water – Those that don’t give a stuff about politics – and they could drive anything. They can live anywhere and they can have any job. They just don't give a shit.

So that's a rough estimation of the main players - but there are many more to add to this. The Kombucha - (the Social Democrat and member of rent-a-crowd),  the White Tea (Grandma) and Metholated Spirits (National Front/KKK member)

You can find a family of Spirulina drinkers with a tap water drinker in the mix. There's the XXXX drinkers who marry a Latte drinker. Many of us will start out as Fruity Lexia drinkers until our tastes change when we grow up and leave uni.

Also, you might have your hands on a few drinks. Me, I'm a Latte drinker with a bit of spirulina on the side, who may be going back to Fruity Lexia in the near future. 

I've worked with a couple of tap water drinkers an I want to kill them for their apathetic ways. The only people I have difficulty with are those who don't care.

So what happens when your friends don't belong to the same group as you, or groups that you align to a little more easily. What happens when long standing friends have polar opposite views to you?

I have two points of reference for this. 

My friend Kitt is a member of the Liberal Party. Kitt is what she calls a small "L" liberal. She's Pinot to my Latte. 

We get on fine. She smirks at me tripping off to the odd demonstration, I baulk at her being thrilled at meeting John Howard. We agree to disagree on a few things, respecting the differing points of view. She says, "But it has to be paid for", quite a bit, my come back is "Surely there's a better way to do things."

Kitt and I know that we've both thought about a lot of stuff well and hard and though we don't agree on stuff, that's okay. I also know that Kitt has a social conscience and is working to lessen the reign of the far right in the Liberals.

The other friend I come into contest with is and old work colleague. He's rather right wing - say Pinot with a bit of grunt. He gets on his high horse about a few things, I end up nearly screaming at him. Then we stop discussing politics because after a while it's not going anywhere.

The friendship is too important. 

Something I'm finding out more and more - politics and friendships are a very tricky road to walk. You're going to find people you agree with. You're going to find people who disagree with you.

And there are people that you're going to want to club like a baby seal.

You're also going to find the current cabinet with their backwards views, devise ways, misogyny, callousness and corruption. (I could go on but I'm hoping that the International court will come after some of these jokers and lock them up for a very long time.) Watching an Education minister that doesn't believe in universal education, an Environment Minister who wants to see the Great Barrier Reef dredged, a Heath Minister who wants to dismantle Medicare and a Treasurer who wants to send the place into recession, you have to wonder...

As a Latte, I'm quite happy to get on my soapbox about their what I see as completely offensive ways, their lying and their complete disregard for about 90% if the Australian population. Kitt , as a Pinot, is less fussed.

You also hear, "I've voted for X. I've always voted for X and I always will vote for X." A little aggravating, yes, but it could be that you have a great local member - such as Tony Windsor, Sharman Stone, Anthony Albanese or Adam Bandt.  You want to vote for the member. It could also be that they believe in the party. It doesn't mean they're being apathetic - they've looked at the policies, they remain true to their party. It happens

This is a time where we have to start banding together and start some respectful dialogue over what's going on around here. No more name calling, stone throwing or disrespecting. 

We have Bronwyn Bishop, our speaker to adjudicate of the House of Representatives and the LNPs ludicrous behaviour, such as Christopher Pyne dropping the c-bomb in public - without reprimand.

. (Don't get me started on that one, the biased witch - she should step down now)

What I'm saying is that we're all going to have to start treading a little carefully. Know when you're safe to talk, know when to keep your month shut. Most importantly, you have to know it's right to agree to disagree and walk away before the friendship is damaged.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blog a Day May: Day 25: The Random 15 Meme

It's Sunday night, which means it's meme night. As always, the Meme has been provided by Sunday Stealing as I'm really not in the mood to talk about my lovely weekend away or what is going on in my head at the moment. Memes are safe. Memes don't send your emotions into a quandry. Memes let you do jobs between questions which is a very good thing.

So these questions are fairly innocuous and a bit fun. So here we go.

1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet? 

I have an old pair of 16 hole Doc Martens in the cupboard. These were bought at Camden in the early 90s on a day when a bomb went off down Camden High Street - I remember this as I went to see my then boyfriend who was working at a pub in Camden and I passed. Which means I can date them to being bought on the 28th of February 1993. I still wear them - often to concerts or recently, to demonstrations. Anywhere when I don't want to get my feet stomped on. They're great for that - I see them as my protectors.

(Shopping is now put away)

2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety? 

As I'm in Australia and we don't have a girl scout cookie culture like they do in the States. They used to do these wonderful plain biscuits but I haven't seen them in years. I have in the last year bought charity pens and the odd pin of the diggers on Remembrance and ANZAC Days. 

(Unpacked my bag)

3. Do you know how to ballroom dance? 

No. I don't dance. Okay I'll rephrase that, I don't dance in public unless I have half a skinful and then I do the uncoordinated swaying stomp movements that are found in those who were teenagers of the eighties. Partner dancing scares me more than anything else on the planet. I know about this dance phobia - never had the time or gumption to fix it.

(Couch found under a pile of paper)

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager? 

Being raised on a farm for most of my childhood, I had chores - in particular animals to feed. I was the one who had to feed the calves before school. My mother still mentions that I'm the one in the family you give little things to look after. So yes, I was a responsible child. My homework was done on time, the jobs got done without too much grizzling, I went to Sunday School when told and wagged very few days of school. When you're taken to school on a bus it's hard to slip off on the way in or out. So responsible, yes. Mature, emotionally stable, confident, popular - no, but I was pretty responsible. I'm still known as somebody who is nice to animals, children and old people. 

(Load of washing is on)

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see? 

Quite a few of them:

From the list last year I've seen:

American Hustle (which I think is just a touch over rated, though Bradley Cooper's perm needs a mention)
Dallas Buyers Club (and I can see why Matthew McConnaughy and Jared Leto got their gongs)
Her (fell asleep in places, but otherwise a great concept)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Loved it - others didn't)
Philomena (Cried buckets)
12 Years a Slave (Harrowing)
Blue Jasmine (A neurotic Cate Blanchett at her best)
August Osage County (Families, can't kill em, can't bury them in the garden)

I still want to see Nebraska, as I love Bruce Dern. I'll get to Gravity one of these days. 

(Ironing started)

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself? 

Hospitals don't bother me too much and I love "Embarrassing Bodies", so I'm happy to watch things get done, just as I'm okay having medical procedures done to me - unless it involves puke. I'm not great with vomit. 

(Washing hung out, whites are now in the machine)

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why? 

I love Sunday. It's a free day. If I'm home, I go to pump and have breakfast with the girls from the gym and go and see Blarney and the boys and anything else that my heart desires. It's nice to have a day off and do nothing for a change. 

(A bit more ironing done. Bag is packed for tomorrow)

8. What’s the best compliment you've ever received?

Compliments aren't something I get that often, though they do happen and they are accepted with as much grace as I can muster. There are only two that come to mind. One was from an old friend, a business man, very sharp, spoke six languages who said I was the kindest and most intelligent person he knew. That floored me.

The second was from somebody I'm no longer in contact with. I was due up in the Dandenongs and going for a ride on Puffing Billy. He said that I was like a steam train - other worldly, effusive and strangely beautiful. And here I was thinking he was going to say large, bulky and full of hot air.

9. Do hospitals make you queasy? 

Not that I like them that much, but no. My mother was a nurse and my father spent a lot of time in hospital when I was a kid - you get used to them.

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card? 

Hmm, another hard one as I'm on a conscious economy drive. However, if I was allowed to max out my cards, I reckon I'd go into the Flight Centre and book myself three months away - ah, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, go book the Camino... I had a great conversation with the guy sitting next to me on the plane today- we talked travel all the way back from Sydney. It appears that I come out as well traveled.

(Second round of washing hung out. More ironing done)

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items? 

Not really, though there is no substitute for Heinz Baked Beans, ever. 
I prefer to fly Qantas when I fly within Australia.
I've been with my bank since I was a child.

I will say that when I find something I like I do tend to stick to it. So I have an Apple iPhone and iPad, not an Android model - and I have a PC not a Mac.

Other things, I'm happy to shop around.

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels? 

This is a loaded question - but I am going to say the latter, it can be very hard looking into somebody'eyes when they are telling you how they feel about you. Found this out the other night. You don't know where to look. There's no escape.

13. What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé? 

Oh, that one is easy. I lived in England for six years without a visa, working for most of that time at a now defunct American Investment Bank. That I got away with it without being deported, that is something I've very proud of, in a , please, do not even think about trying this today... or ever. You could do stuff like that in the 80s and 90s. Not now. Most of my friends are aware of this, but it's not widely publicised.

The few half marathons that I've run make a line on the last page of my CV.

(Everything's ready for tomorrow)

14. What’s the most out-of-character choice you've ever made? 

2003. I pitched my job in and went and worked on a Greek Island for a few months. That was pretty out of character, as at the time I was pretty risk averse. 

Going back to internet dating a few years ago. Out of character.(and a bad move)

Most people would say that when I took up running a few years ago, that was very out of character - turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done.

15. What’s your personal anthem or theme song?

This runs on from the last questions.

I'd say my theme song is "Reckless" by Australian Crawl.

Sometimes it feels like this:

And then there are times when it feels like this:

And there are times when it feels like this:

But generally, it's the Australian Crawl song.

Right, off to bed. 45 minutes to spare.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blog a Day May: Day 24: Cake

It's Chance and Lance's birthday party tomorrow.

As is the tradition, I make their birthday cakes. They've been promised a birthday cake each with smarties on top until they make 18 or they tell me to stop.

I love this little tradition.

Here's this year's efforts.

The marshmallow on top is the smoke that the fire trucks are heading towards.

On the not so good, my food processor packed in when I was making the first cake, but the hand beaters fixed that.

Now I must get these over to Blarney's on the way to the airport. Off for a weekend away with friends. 

Havagoodweekend xx

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blog a Day May: Day 23: Challenge the Universe

My friend Alice has me in on a group experiment in which she's involving a few of her friends.

Alice and I are of similar belief systems. We're in the Masons together, among other things. We like the weird and wonderful.

Anyway, she set the experiment off tonight read as follows:

"Theory: There is an invisible energy force which we are able to tap into

Hypothesis: We can access this with a clear set of requirements and our request should be fulfilled. 
Approach: Hey you, (insert your chosen name for energy here, Cosmos / A / Mother Nature / God) are you real? If so, I demand that you make your presence known to me by an unequivocal sign, something that cannot be written off as a coincidence, within the next 48 hours.

Sit back and wait. Add results as comments below."

I'm very much in the belief that this is the way of the world. Put it out there watch it come back to you.

Two cases in point:

A few years ago I wanted to go to Spain. It was a hankering that had been building. I remember clearly sitting down at my 41st birthday lunch saying to my friends that I wanted to go to Spain. Two months later I won two airline tickets to anywhere in the world.

Okay this is an extreme case, but my will was put out to the universe and it came back.

So tonight, when I got this experiment, I put it out there. Talk to the universe. Tell it what you want. See what happens. Make it count.

I sent out my request.

"Universe. Have somebody tell me they love me."

This is pretty unequivocal. Especially as I'm having a quiet night at home.

30 minutes later it came back to me.

I'm not giving details.

However, sometimes, just sometimes, the Universe has a pretty warped sense of humour. This is one of those times.

Give the experiment a try. Let me know what happens.

I'm going to go and process this information.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 22: A Matter of Attitude

Call me Pollyanna. 

Fine, I have a rather pragmatic and chirpy outlook on life. You have to roll with the punches, get on with things, try and look at things in a positive light and this sees me through quite well.

See, I used to be a Negative Nancy – woe is me, the world hates me, life is crap type deal. A few sessions with a psychologist working on my next to existent self-esteem and things started to improve. A bit later, a year of regular hypnotherapy sessions with a skilled counsellor and life turned around.

What both the psychologist and the hypnotherapist taught me over these sessions was not what was happening to you, but how you approached it that made all of the difference. If you have a positive outlook, not matter how bad things get, things will turn out. The positive attitude helps you to overcome almost everything with a bit of grace and dignity.

There are all the self-help books out there, “The Secret” being one of them. The big element that that this book extols is the law of attraction, that like attracts like. For the most part, I’ve found this works. Okay, there are times when you really in “Pooh Corner” where you’re going to go off in a huff. It happens. I’m also aware that those with anxiety and depression conditions may find this a bit hard to fathom, but I do understand that this is why these are conditions that require sensitive, trained help to get through. These are things that can’t get wiped away that easily.

However, for the normal, mild mannered person walking down the road, the person with a direct gaze, an open face, a slight smile and a polite demeanour is going to find life is far easier than the person wandering around, head down, anger screaming from every pore giving off the impression that they’re going to skin your puppy alive if you say hello to them.

As much as I bag it, The Landmark Forum also put me on to the fact that we filter everything that is said to us through the experiences life has dealt us. If you can get rid of some of your pre-formed prejudices and see things for as they are, you’re often a lot better off. Taking out the emotional aspects of situations and seeing them clearly and unemotionally can take a whole lot of angst out of situations. 

It’s just a matter of choosing to do so – not that there are times when this can be next to impossible, but it can help diffuse what you have found is next to intolerable and make life a little easier.

So why to I bring this up? 

Things are good at the moment. I've been setting intentions lately to make sure days run well. In the morning on the walk in          I set the intention that the day is going to be fun and productive, that the coffee will not have burned beans and that there aren't too many curve balls thrown my way. Going into the day like this makes things run somewhat smoother.

As I change jobs so regularly, when looking for roles I set the intention that the work in interesting, the team great, the money good and the prospects even better. This has served me very well indeed.

It’s this looking forward and setting the intention for good that helps to smooth over the bumps.

Brings me to why I’m writing this blog. 

A friend is not having a so good time of things. It’s not that life has given her a couple of curve balls – but these are things that she can’t do anything about.

Oh, I forgot, the Serenity Prayer. This helps too. “Insert your Deity here, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.”

I recite this daily too.

Of my friend. So, your friend gets a life threatening disease. You can’t do anything about it but you can be there for your friend. It's sad, but it's their life to fix, not yours. 

Your work situation is not what it was, but you can find strategies to makes things more tolerable, whether that be an exit plan, a chat with the boss or just changing your attitude to things.

See where I’m coming from.

Okay, so my friend is having some changes thrown at her. My way of looking at her situation, look for the good, adapt, go in with a smile, look at it like it’s an adventure and offset the not so good stuff with things you like doing. This strategy makes sense to me.

My friend’s strategy is to sit on the couch with a glass of wine, arms crossed tightly across her chest and repeat, ad nauseum, “Life is Sh&*!” in a very angry tone.

I've given her my Pollyanna words. Probably not what you want to hear when you’re down.

But after three weeks of listening to this I really want to pour a bucket of water over her and tell her to stop acting like a three-year-old.

Oh, the last life lesson I will impart, tantrums are for children. Stamp your foot once, build a bridge and get over it.

There is far too much about life to enjoy, embrace and interact with. Lying down in the middle of the supermarket aisle, screaming and yelling is no more going to get you want you want than is flipping the bird  to the world and telling it sucks.

You only get one life. How you approach it is up to you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blog-A-Day May: Day 21: Room 101

I haven’t done a Room 101 blog for a while, and as I’m getting more and more peeved about things, maybe it’s time to unleash some of them and send them off to the realms of Room 101 where they can meet a brutal and fiery demise as all pet peeves should rightly do.

For those not in the know, Room 101 is a concept dreamed up by George Orwell in his prophetic book “1984” where as a form of torture, people are forced to face their greatest fear, nightmare or phobia. There was a wonderful show on in the 90’s in England with Angus Deayton and Paul Merton that  looked at people’s pet peeves.

Here are a few of mine that I’d quite happily seen eradicated from society at large.

1.       People who use their mobile phones in the toilet

Why do people use their mobile phones in the toilets at work – or anywhere in public where you require a bit of privacy – such as Doctor’s waiting rooms? Doing your business is a very private thing, the last thing you want to do while taking a dump is talk to somebody. Why would you want anybody to recognise that you’re in the echo-chamber that is the bog talking to them. Like eww.

I can cope with people having a two minute chat is the basin area, but in a cubicle, pants around your ankles, having a chat. Really!?

Saying this, people who chat to others on the phone while they’re on the throne are a unique subset of the human race. They are also the people who you see having loud, involved conversations on public transport. We’re not talking about the ,”Hello Darling, I’m ten minutes away, do you want me to collect some milk?” type calls. These are the people who go into the gory details of their pap smear or little Xavier’s head lice for the period of ten stops, normally when the carriage is nearly silent, oblivious to the looks they are receiving.

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2.       The over use of fake tan

Admission – I love the WTF factor of “Snog, Marry, Avoid”. I don’t watch the show very often but I do enjoy wondering what half these people are thinking as they get out looking like a mix of a baby prostitute and your grandmother’s toilet roll dolly. Watching these people get “made-under” is fun.

Still, I’ve got no idea why people use so much fake tan. Why do you want to look like an overgrown oompa-loompa. Shane Warne is a prime example of this.

Maybe I’m just like people who hate cats because they have a cat allergy, of which I’ve a few friends. My skin reacts really badly to fake tan. I come out in welts. A little bit of fake tan sure. There for a night out to make you look a little less pasty, no worries. I just can’t get why people want to go around looking like they’ve been dipped in Fanta.

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3.       Smokers in the street

I’m a reformed social smoker, so that makes me the worst when it comes to this. I can’t hack walking behind smokers in the street. Hate it. I want to hit these people for stealing my fresh air. It also makes me ashamed to think that I used to smoke in the streets. With any luck, the streets of Melbourne will be a smoke free zone soon if the city council has their way.

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4.       Overbred Pedigree Animals

When it comes to dogs and cats I'm a bit of a mongrel girl. Give me a mixed breed or a standard moggie any day. What really irks me is when people take on these overbred animals where there features are so extreme that the poor animal is uncomfortable, barely breathing, destined to be in pain for the rest of its life. It's beyond cruel.

5.       Book Trilogies where the last one is not worth the paper it’s written on

Case in point - the last book of the Twilight series was worthy of lining a cocky's cage, which is a pity because the first two books were great and the third was passable. Besides, Renesmee - need I say more. Sheesh.

Same goes with the Hunger Games trilogy. The first book is one of the best young adult novels I've ever read. The third, just a passable cast of characters torturing each other.

It's a pity, as they started out so well. It's also a pity that these writers can't sustain the books - or their editors don't have the courage to tell them that what they're writing is crap.

6.       Leggings worn as pants/trousers/outerware

      Leggings are leggings. They go under things. Gym tights for when you're exercising, fine, as long as you're either exercising or travelling to or from the gym. Leggings are not pants. There should be laws about it. I think you should be fined as much as you do for jaywalking as you do for wearing leggings as pants. In Melbourne they'd make a fortune on the fines.

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7.       Crocs worn by Adults

      Plenty of my friends have said that fake crocs have saved their wallets when it comes to their children's footwear. Cheap, durable and easily replaced. I get it.

      Like ugg boots, crocs around the house and garden - no issue.What you do in your own home, that's your business.

      But why would you want to be seen in the street wearing plastic shoes? Seriously. We're not all bogans.

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8.       Neo-Conservative Politicians

      Do I really have to justify why the following people are fucktards? Cory Bernardi... Christopher Pyne.... Joe Hockey... Snot oops, Scott Morrison... Toady,  oops Tony Abbott.... George Brandis....

      I know that there are conservatives out there that actually care about people. However our current front bench appear to be taking their orders from the Institute of Public Affairs - a group that was not voted in. Since when did we stop being a democracy?

      Thankfully and hopefully the implosions that are occurring will continue and the mob of them will be sent to Manus Island pretty soon.

     For the time being, I'll just have to groan a lot and hope they explode under the strain of their lies, duplicity and plain greedy natures.

9.       People who can’t keep time in Pump

    This is one of my first world problems. Pump Class - you do weights to music. Bad technique can be corrected over time, but those who have no idea of timing are just so annoying. How hard can it be to move to the beat? Being one of the back row boffins, you get to know just who the culprits are.

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10.   The use of the word "Awesome"

    Possibly the most overused word in the English language, awesome is one of those words, like "hero" and "mandate" that really should be banished for a while to get it out of use.
   My dislike of the word "awesome" comes from doing the Landmark Forum, where it came out of the presenter's mouths at ten second intervals. It was a word that smacked of overcompensation and insincerity.

  I'm happy to have all of these things sent down the conveyor belt into the fires of hell.

  Well, here's hoping...